صانع الأسطورة: الطيب صالح / The Myth Maker: al-Tayyeb Saleh's The Wedding of Zein



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الحجاجى, أحمد شمس الدين; al-Haggagi, Ahmad Shams al-Din

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Research Article

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Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[How can an individual poet be a myth maker when myth is the product of the human community? Al-Tayyeb Saleh can be called a myth maker in that he was able to decipher the mythical elements which are alive in his society and to formulate them in a work of literature. In his novel The Wedding of Zein he reconstructed the path of the Sufi wali, al-Zein, from the moment of his miraculous birth to the moment of his attaining the status of wali in a ceremony which is akin to a mawlid, his wedding ceremony. In the novel, al-Zein follows the various stages of the initiation at the hands of his master, the Sheikh al-Hanin, and it is al-Hanin who is witness to the rites of passage of al-Zein and who introduces him to society. The village people are marked by their relation to Zein: the people he loves, the people he hates. But is he capable of hate? Ahmad Shams al-Haggagi gives a reading of the novel of al-Tayyeb Saleh, The Wedding of Zein, in the light of the Sufi tradition, but he also follows the elements of the mythical folk life in the other works of al-Tayyeb Saleh, namely The Doum Tree of Wad Hamid and Maryud.]

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